This is the 342nd Annual Sessions of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting! This year, we’re sharing the Mott Memo daily recaps here on the website, a loving tribute to the august Quaker, Lucretia Mott. Each Mott Memo is a brief look-back on the day’s events. We hope you enjoy taking part in Annual Sessions through this tradition. Shared below is some of the news from Thursday, July 28.
And remember, even though Annual Sessions has begun, you can still register to attend the remaining events. Sign up now. It’s not too late! Please check out the schedule for the week and agenda for meeting for business (90 minute sessions at varying times). Register here for the Zoom link and join in our worship, fellowship, witness, and work together!
Thursday morning began with Intergenerational Bible study (we know there was at least one child there!) and an exploration of the Godly Play story of Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:3). Friends wondered about the gifts of creation, the gifts of our yearly meeting, the Big Bang, and sabbath. The storyteller shared two resources for further exploring: The Questions We Ask: A First Day School Lesson (exploring the creation story in Genesis alongside the Big Bang Theory) and the children’s book, God’s Holy Darkness (Green and Selnick) which “deconstructs anti-Blackness in Christian theology by celebrating instances in the story of God’s people when darkness, blackness, and night are beautiful, good, and holy.”
In both the morning and the evening, tender worship and ministry opened into grounded meeting for worship with attention to business. Here is the agenda for business being considered. Watch for minutes to be posted in coming days. At the end of the evening business session, our “two headed clerk,” co-clerks Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, were thanked for their patience and grace in clerking and they in turn acknowledged the loving support of the Elders.
Friends enjoyed greeting one another over lunchtime fellowship, and again in the evening at “Bring Your Own Mug” fellowship! During the evening fellowship, after acknowledging that we miss being together in person, there was a lively conversation about meetinghouses and memories of Yearly Meeting Session in person — including childhood memories of attending in Philadelphia. Invitations to visit one another’s meetings were made and there was a strong feeling of friendship. The Young Adult Friends community also gathered in the evening for a Gathering with Attention to Grief and Resilience online.
Onward to Friday!